Press Release: Religious Leaders Back Marriage Equality

Religious Leaders Back Marriage Equality

A group of religious celebrants and ministers have called for the Federal Government and Opposition to support marriage equality and same-sex marriage regardless of who wins Saturday's election.

Since 2004 Federal legislation has defined marriage as between a man and a woman and does not recognise same-sex marriages which occur in countries where they are legal. This is despite consistent opinion polls that show the majority of Australians in favour of marriage equality.

Spokesperson for the Victorian Secular Lobby, who organised the statement, Lev Lafayette, claims that Australia is engaging in religious discrimination adopting particular definitions of marriage.

"There is no justification other than satisfying the influence of certain religious creeds in retaining the current definitions. We are supposed to have religious freedom in this country, based on a secular equality. When it comes to marriage, this freedom and equality does not exist. Australia is dragging its feet on this simple human right, which is gaining global momentum"

In the past decade same-sex marriages are granted and mutually recognised by Belgium, Spain, Canada, South Africa, Norway, Sweden, Portugal, Iceland, Argentina and are now also recognised in Mexico and Nepal.

"Future generations will be perplexed and saddened by our continuing discrimination, in the same way that we remember the old prohibitions of miscegenation."

The statement has been signed by ministers and celebrants from the Uniting Church, Unitarian-Universalist Churches, the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), a Hindu and a registered pagan group. The campaign will be on-going and will seek wider religious endorsement.

August 17, 2010

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